There are more bicycles than cars on La Digue, a 10-sq-km island that is doing everything it can to save itself – and one rare bird species – from overtourism.
La Digue is arguably one of the most well-known of the 115 islands in the Seychelles. It attracts thousands of tourists each year to Anse Source d’Argent, often called the most photographed beach in the world due to its imposing boulders reminiscent of prehistoric times, an ideal backdrop to Hollywood films and commercials. On a smaller scale, bird watchers from all over come to witness the rare sighting of the Seychelles Black Paradise Flycatcher bird, an endangered species endemic to the Seychelles.
But perhaps the island’s less well-known marvel is its lack of cars, and how the Digueois have managed to limit traffic in order to protect the pristine beauty of their 10 sq km territory. With a population of only about 3,000, the Digueois pride themselves on using the bicycle as their main form of transport, unlike the bigger neighbouring islands of Mahé and Praslin, which have seen more urban growth. For locals, a car is unnecessary and moving with bicycles has always been a way of life.
"From a small age, my brother used to try and teach us how to ride the bike. They hold the seat and you’re thinking they are holding, then let you go and then you fall, and you lose your knees. And that’s how you learn to ride a bike," said Florie Marie, a […]